Friday, November 7, 2003
A young child is playing hide-and-seek in the closet of his parents’ bedroom and finds a loaded rifle. All of a sudden the sporting firearm has become a threat that could bring injury or death to a family member.
The Hood River City Police Department is trying to prevent this grim scenario from playing out in the homes of county residents. The agency is now giving away free cable locks to help gun owners secure their weapons and prevent a tragic accident. A Project ChildSafe grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has netted the law enforcement agency 1,000 of the safety devices.
“Hundreds of kids get hurt or killed every year by playing with their parent’s gun and this is just a good way to know that the firearms in your house are safe,” said Community Resource Officer Aaron Jubitz.
According to the National Safety Council, accidents involving firearms in the home have decreased significantly over the last 20 years. Jubitz said that good news is credited, in part, for an educational campaign that has been directed toward gunowners by organizations such as the NSSF.
“Owning a firearm is a responsibility and you should take that responsibility very seriously,” Jubitz said.
He said all gun owners are responsible for stowing their handguns or rifles in a safe manner. In addition to using a locking device to make the weapon inoperable, Jubitz said the NSSF also recommends the following “common sense” rules:
Always unload firearms carefully and completely before taking them into the home. Remember to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and never load a gun in the home.
Make absolutely sure that firearms are securely stored out of the reach of children. Place them in a locked cabinet, safe, vault or case.
Keep ammunition in a locked location that is separate from the firearms and out of the reach of children.
Jubitz said all gun owners are encouraged to pick up a lock for each of their firearms at the police station, Second and State streets.
For more information about Project ChildSafe program of free Firearm Safety Kits visit the NSSF website at www.projectchildsafe.org.